'Scary Good' Federer Glides Past Fritz; Tsitsipas Next
Federer turned in his best performance of the Australian Open on Friday, eliminating Fritz in less than 90 minutes to skate into the fourth round.
The 37-year-old dropped only three first-serve points (93%, 40/43), won more than half of his break points (5/9) and never let Fritz into the match. The American saw zero break points.
“I think I wanted to get out of the blocks quickly because I knew of the threat of Taylor, his possibilities of the serve,” Federer said. “I think I had a really good feeling out here today against someone who can definitely be very dangerous in the future, and I wish him all the best in the future.”
The match was billed as an intergenerational showdown, with the 21-year-old Fritz one of 10 players aged 22 or under into the third round, against Federer, the 37-year-old all-time leader in Grand Slam titles. But the Swiss showed, as he's done countless times in the past, that few of any generation can touch him when he's on. Federer finished 34 winners, including 10 aces, to only 14 unforced errors.
The next wave of talent, however, will have another crack at the six-time Australian Open champion in the fourth round. Federer will face Greece's #NextGenATP star Stefanos Tsitsipas for a spot in the quarter-finals. It will be their first meeting.
The 20-year-old Athens native matched his best Grand Slam showing with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-4 win against Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, a two-time ATP Tour titlist.
“I'm happy for him,” Federer said. “He's playing so well, and I'm looking forward to the matchup with him. I think it's going to be a good one. I like how he mixes up his game and also comes to the net. So will I. I think we will see some athletic attacking tennis being played.”